Fox shares wisdom with Youth Olympic hopefuls
16 April 2018
CANOE/KAYAK: Dual Olympic medalist Jessica Fox has told the upcoming generation of paddlers to grab the opportunities the Youth Olympics Games has to offer with both hands.
Fox, who is currently overseas preparing for the upcoming international season, had a quick stop over in Spain to share her experiences with the group of Youth Olympic hopefuls competing at the Canoeing World Qualification event in Barcelona.
The 24-year-old won gold in the women's obstacle canoe slalom at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) at Singapore 2010, and said the event played a big role in where she is today.
"The YOG is a big part of my identity as an athlete and played a big part in shaping who I became as an athlete," Fox said.
“It’s not just about the competition, it’s about being a well-rounded athlete, and learning about sportsmanship and learning about all the values that the Olympics really tries to get across."
In 2014, Fox returned to the YOG as a Young Ambassador for Australia, mentoring the team of 100 athletes competing in the second edition of the Games in Nanjing.
Having experienced the YOG as an athlete and as a mentor, the Sydney-sider encouraged the group to take advantage of the activities this year's Games has to offer.
"There are a lot of outside distractions like the village, the activities, the media, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and I think all these contribute to making it a really valuable experience," Fox said.
In the question and answer session at the Canoe/Kayak qualification event, the five-time World Champion also addressed the importance of education in sport and urged the young athletes to be aware of the laws regarding anti-doping, match fixing and sexual harassment.
"There's drugs in sport and there's other issues such as match-fixing, injury prevention, and a lot of different concepts and content that we don't cover in day-to-day training.
“Some people might not ever experience that, and some people will, so just being aware of them and knowing the signs and how to stop them is really important," Fox said.
Leading in to the competition, athletes had access to the YOG network information sessions and educational activities highlighting major issues in sport.
"They are young athletes, and the more they learn now the more they can implement that in their careers later on," she said.
This year, Fox will be taking on the role as a Youth Olympic Games Ambassador in the third edition of the Summer Youth Olympic in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The Games will be held from the 6-16th October, with canoeing on the final four days of competition.
Learn more about BA2018 HERE.